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INVERNESS FOCUS FOR CITIES REVIEW

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Inverness today becomes the venue for the fourth visit as part of the cities review. ...
Inverness today becomes the venue for the fourth visit as part of the cities review.

During the day-long programme, deputy minister for finance and local government Peter Peacock will meet with representatives from the council, business groups, the voluntary sector and the community to hear their views about the challenges facing Scotland's newest city.

The minister said:

'Inverness boasts a range of assets associated with a successful modern city, including a good education system, a skilled workforce and a unique environment. Population has grown significantly higher than Scotland as a whole, and inward investment has created benefits in terms of high-tech, well-paid jobs. But like all of Scotland's cities, Inverness faces challenges.

'This visit will provide me with a chance to hear from a wide array of interests on what they see as the key issues - both good and bad - that lie ahead for Inverness.

'Scotland's five cities are vital to the economic, social and environmental well-being of the nation. For too long the distinctive prospects of our existing cities have been neglected. That is why the executive is undertaking this review and Inverness, as Scotland's newest city, can benefit from this process.

'It is vital that we engage key decision makers in this review and encourage an open exchange of ideas about how we can influence future development. I've no doubt that Inverness will provide a fitting opportunity to achieving this end.'

On Thursday, finance minister, Angus MacKay, will also be meeting key organisations in Glasgow, as part of the fifth and final visit.

The findings from the visits will be passed to the review's sounding board and academic panel for full consideration. The review is planned to conclude in early 2002.

In December 2000 the first minister announced a major review of Scotland's cities to examine the key long-term challenges and opportunities facing Scotland's five cities.

On August 30, 2001, finance minister, Angus MacKay unveiled the sounding board and Academic panel, which have been established to inform and test the review's emerging thinking.

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